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National Debate Tournament

Speech and Debate India to host online National Debate Tournament

July 2, 2020

To advance its stance on online extracurricular learning that has accelerated to the forefront during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Speech and Debate India — exclusive partner of the US-based National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA) that runs the world’s largest academic competitions backed by research and rigour — will broadcast an online National Debate Tournament on Sunday, July 12, 2020 wherein high school students will debate, ‘Reimagining Global Education.

Consecutive two-year debate champion in the State of Illinois, USA in the late 1980’s and founder of Speech and Debate India, Rajiv Kacholia explains, “Speech and Debate India leverages technology and our unique pedagogy to help kids learn to debate, while debating to learn and think critically about global issues and relevant content. The National Debate Tournament inaugural topic aims to deeply engage the education system’s customers – students – to join a conversation on how global K-12 schools can be reimagined to optimise for Creativity, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Happiness, and Social Impact. Over the past two months, teams have been researching innovations and formulating plans for future K-12 schools. The judging criteria evaluates teams on their creativity, collaboration, and use of evidence and logic to persuasively communicate ideas.”

Open to elementary, middle and high school students, the National Debate Tournament, will feature India’s top two teams, advancing by competing in an unprecedented 20 rounds of competitive debates with eliminations in each of 4 prior weekends among students from top schools across the country.

The 6 finalists for the National Debate Tournament are:

TEAM 1: Affirmative TEAM 2: Rebuttal
Student School Student School
Shivani Shrotri Ecole Mondiale World School Maahir Jain Jamnabai Narsee International School
Saksham Sood Cathedral and John Connon School Jash Jain BD Somani International School
Aryaman Murdeshwar American School of Bombay Pratham Dave DY Patil International School


The finalists have been selected over an intensive 3-month period by conducting multiple regional tournaments with students debating the economic and healthcare needs of India in response to COVID-19, as well as qualifier rounds debating Reimagining Global Education, with more than 400 Indian students from Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Dubai, Hyderabad, Indore, London, Mumbai, New York, and others. Moreover, to help provide very detailed preparation for the National Tournament, Speech and Debate India introduced a supplementary live online tournament training course, which met in smaller groups daily over 4 weeks in live online classes featuring debate drills and topic analysis on the future of Global Education. The course saw an overwhelming response and was oversubscribed at 250 percent.         

“Research demonstrates that debaters advance in reading, writing, and life skills. We use exciting games and challenge our students to extend beyond their personal opinions and explore alternative perspectives through rigorous analysis and discussion. Children dive into topics, become self-motivated to read and process information faster, while aspiring to formulate creative ideas supported by evidence-based reasoning, Kacholia adds.

Free registrations for the one-of-its-kind National Debate Tournament is now open for all students, parents and educators.

To register, visit

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